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What is an Email Sender Reputation?

An email sender reputation is a score assigned to your domain based on the quality of your email, the list you send to, how often you send an email, your deliverability set up, and your reader’s engagement. It is the decider on whether your email will ultimately land in the inbox or whether it will be relegated to the junk/spam folder.

A bad email reputation is like a hangover: hard to get rid of, and it hurts everything else” – Christ Marriott. 

We’re not talking about your reputation down the pub or in your local gym; we are talking about your sender reputation in email marketing! 

In the email world, your email sender reputation speaks volumes. After all, what’s the point in spending hours, even days (maybe weeks!) crafting an email or newsletter for it to land straight in the reader’s junk!

Email Sender Reputation Score

An email sender reputation score can be compared to a credit rating score you receive from the bank, except this one is a score given to your overall email program. 

Factors such as sending frequency, quality of content, list hygiene, and engagement levels can all contribute to the email sender reputation score you are assigned. An email sender score is a number from 1 to 100.

How to Check Your Email Sender Reputation

You can check your email sender reputation and email sender score using third-party tools. Think of it as being similar to your credit rating in the real world. Third-party tools you can use to check on your email sender reputation are Google Postmaster, Microsoft SNDS and Barracuda

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Most reputable email marketing platforms will monitor their email sender reputations using such tools. 

In the meantime, you can keep track of your sender score via your engagement metrics, such as your opens, click-throughs and click through to open rates. If you notice any changes, particularly declines in your engagement, your reputation is dropping.

How to Protect Your Email Sender Reputation

You may be thinking, “ok, so how do I protect my sender reputation from being damaged?” – Good question. You can do many things to make sure your email sender reputation remains intact and you do not end up falling into the dreaded junk folder.

3 Ways To Protect Your Email Sender Reputation

  1. Deliverability Components (DKIM, SPF, DMARC)

  2. Email Frequency & Email Volume

  3. Email List Hygiene

1. Deliverability Components (DKIM, SPF, DMARC)

Firstly, do you have your DKIM, SPF, and DMARC implemented on your email sending domain? If you aren’t sure what DKIM, SPF and DMARC are, check out our blog ‘ What is DKIM, SPF and DMARC and why should I care?’  Your sending domain is the email address to which you send your emails from, e.g.

Swift Digital works closely with our clients during the onboarding phase to ensure you select a sending domain and get the DKIM, SPF, and DMARC (email deliverability) set up before you start setting emails to ensure you are maximising your inbox placement!

2. Email Frequency & Email Volume

If you want to maintain a good email sender reputation, try and send your emails and newsletters out on a frequent and regular basis. For example, try sending it at the same time every week. This will ensure your sender reputation can remain stable and you are recognised as a reliable sender.

It is recommended to try and send your emails to a similar amount each time you send them. What this means is, try not to send to 100 contacts one week and then the next week send to 10,000! If this is not possible, then try working upwards. Start sending to a small amount and gradually increase with each regular send.

When building and maintaining an email sender reputation, make sure you send first to your most engaged subscribers; this includes those that regularly open, click, and engage with your emails. This will signal the servers that this is a ‘good’ email.

3. Email List Hygiene

Maintaining good list hygiene should be a priority for all marketers and communications professionals. If you have a list of only 100 contacts or a list of 1m+ contacts, practising good list hygiene is a must to help protect your sender reputation.

What is 'Good Email List Hygiene?’

Good list hygiene is maintaining your mail groups and lists that you send your emails. This includes monitoring bounce rates, weeding out the un-engaged and removing invalid emails.

What are High Email Bounce Rates?

Having high bounce rates and low engagement (opens, CTR and CTOR) in your emails will ultimately alert servers that you are not maintaining your lists and could damage your email sender reputation and email sender score. Maintaining your lists will ensure you don’t get flagged by servers and end up in the junk folder.

3 Ways To Maintain a Hygienic List

  1. Add double opt-in to your subscription form

  2. Don’t buy lists

  3. Implement a ‘Sunset Policy

What is a Dedicated IP?

Last but not least, let’s talk about dedicated IPs. An IP address is a dedicated set of numbers from which you send your emails.

Email providers identify “safe” and “unsafe” emails based on the historical context of your IP address and sender reputation. You can share an IP with another sender, and then you can also opt to have your own dedicated IP. 

A dedicated IP is one way of closely monitoring your sender reputation and having more control. When moving onto a dedicated IP, you will have little to no sender reputation at the beginning, requiring a ‘warm up’ period. 

This means you will have to build up slowly the number of emails sent and won’t be able to send to big email volumes straight away – this could risk the new dedicated IP being blacklisted.

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Swift Digital’s templates help you effortlessly create stunning emails and events communications using our drag-and-drop email and event builder.

You can raise engagement with embedded images, videos, polls, article feedback, and emojis and schedule messages to send at the right time.

Government departments’ unique marketing requirements are covered with Swift Digital, and full compliance with all anti-spam and privacy laws is guaranteed. Swift Digital is also ISO 27001 certified.

Swift Digital is Australia’s leader in marketing automation software and event management working with organisations like the NSW Government, ATO, and companies like Westpac Bank and Qantas.

Find out why we’re the Australian government department’s number one choice for their professional communications and events.

To find out how your business can get the best out of Swift Digital’s platform, contact our team today.

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